'''Francis Bret Harte''' (August 25, 1836
[Some sources say he was born in 1837 or 1839. Even his gravestone has the wrong year, 1837. See also [http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1970&dat=19360815&id=MZcoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IgYGAAAAIBAJ&pg=2850,4089357 Bret Harte Birth Year Set as 1836], ''Berkeley Daily Gazette'', August 15, 1936]
– May 5, 1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his short fiction featuring miners, gamblers, and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush
. In a career spanning more than four decades, he wrote poetry, fiction, plays, lectures, book reviews, editorials, and magazine sketches in addition to fiction. As he moved from California to the eastern U.S. to Europe, he incorporated new subjects and characters into his stories, but his Gold Rush tales have been most often reprinted, adapted, and admired.